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COLLABORATION: Joint cross-border malaria initiative to benefit Tanzania, Rwanda

March 26, 2024 9:00
COLLABORATION: Joint cross-border malaria initiative to benefit Tanzania, Rwanda
The Shinda Malaria Chief of Party, Dr. Dustan Bishanga making remarks during the gathering. Photo Credit: Shinda Malaria

Today, the Shinda Malaria project, which is funded by the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and implemented in Tanzania by the Ifakara Health Institute and partners, actively participated in a Joint Malaria Planning Meeting held in Ngara, Kagera.

At the meeting were representatives of the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Governments (PO-RALG); Ministry of Health (MOH); the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Swiss TPHs, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).

The primary objective of the gathering was to collaboratively define activities for malaria prevention and control interventions, emphasizing coordinated efforts across selected cross-border areas between Tanzania and Rwanda.

Prior to the official proceedings, participants paid a courtesy visit to Ngara District Commissioner, Con. Mathias Julius Kahabi. The meeting was subsequently inaugurated by Ms. Hatujuani Lukari, representing the District Commissioner, who commended the innovative cross-border initiative.

Ms. Lukari highlighted the significant contribution of the crossborder initiative towards achieving Tanzania's National Malaria Strategic Plan (2021-2025) goal of reducing malaria prevalence from 7.5% in 2017 to less than 3.5% by 2025.

 "We recognize cross-border collaboration as a crucial initiative that will enhance our collective efforts towards meeting our set targets," remarked Ms. Lukari.

Conversely, the Shinda Malaria Deputy Chief of Party, Dr. Mwaka Kakolwa remarked on Artemisinin Partial Resistance APR) response plan which Shinda Malaria implemented in Nkwenda Health Center by setting up special Theraputic Efficacy Study (TES) site after a study confirmed the presence of antimalarials drug resistance.

The meeting progressed with a series of back-to-back presentations and discussions covering topics such as updates on the implementation of the Great Lakes Malaria Initiative (GLMI), its goals, achievements, challenges, and future steps. Additionally, there were updates on the current malaria situation and specific insights into cross-border districts or regions.